Our Commitment Our Community

Our Commitment Our Community


Our Commitment to Our Community 

In the mid 90’s I was working in Dallas as a head coach in Major League Soccer and I would
dedicate much of my time giving back to the local community. We would go into underserved
areas in the outskirts of the city and the kids loved to see us come. You see, I grew up in
Chicago in an environment where we were disadvantaged. Many people helped me get my
start as a player by providing uniforms, fees and an opportunity to learn from high quality
coaches. It was amazing how many kids we helped in Dallas just out of the sheer generosity of
others. Little things like opportunities to play, athletic gear and just our time were so
appreciated. I made that my mission to give back just as others had done for me. I think I got
more enjoyment out of seeing those kids on the field than they did, and I told myself I would
continue this effort wherever life took me. Many years after, I took a job in Denver I ran into
twins that were out on the field just playing around. I asked them if they were on a team and
they said no their father was there working on the fields, and they were just playing on the
fields because he could not afford for them to play on a team. We were able to help those boys
and provide a place to play, uniforms and even help with rides to practice and games. Those
same twins spoke at that club banquet two years later about how appreciative they were to
have the opportunity to play on a team, how much they loved soccer and they spoke with true
pride about representing the club and the community. Out of the generosity of others through
many donations we were able to provide those boys a chance to play and grow both as soccer
players but more importantly off the field. To this day they are still playing, and both have gone
on to be outstanding students using many of the lessons they learned on the soccer field.

When I was considering joining Orlando City Youth Soccer Club, one of main considerations that
attracted me was their commitment to the same philosophy of helping others and giving back
to the community. As we start the spring season, I cannot help but get excited seeing our teams
compete. The kids are having fun, learning and improving. It is great to see this in action every
weekend. What I am most proud of is Orlando City Youth Soccer Club’s commitment to the

While Orlando City Youth Soccer Club offers a great value with their commitment to  provide committed and licensed coaches, who often make less than $10 per hour, there are still many people in our community who cannot afford club fees. Orlando City Youth Soccer
Club passionately believes that youth sports provide children tremendous benefits. It not only
focuses on just teaching the game of soccer but also life lessons and character building. The
mentorship of youth, learning the values of hard work, dedication, commitment, resiliency, etc.
are an important part of the Orlando City Youth Soccer Club program. Our club is committed to
reducing the financial barrier that exists in youth sports to increase youth participation and
allow youth to reap the benefits the game of soccer has to offer. Soccer does more than engage
youth between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in healthy activities; the players are learning the
value of mentorship and teamwork. The work of the Orlando City Youth Soccer Club follows its
mission and within that mission our scholarship program strives to transform underserved
communities through the sport.

Do you know Orlando City Youth Soccer Club and its supporters have donated over $200,000
over the last 6 years to the scholarship program that supported kids that would otherwise not
have the opportunity to play? That does not include events that help the community outside of
soccer like the recent Pink Out! cancer event. Hundreds of kids have benefited from the
fundraising and awareness events we have held. What is unique about the Orlando City Youth
Soccer Club program is it is a need-based scholarship program where one hundred percent of
donation for that program go back to the members receiving scholarship. Nothing donated
directly to the Orlando City Youth Soccer Club scholarship program is spent on administration,
coaches etc. We have been fortunate enough to have some very generous people at our club
and their generosity has been exciting and contagious. Orlando City Youth Soccer Club is our
community soccer club. Our staff exists to serve the community and your families – to provide
education, encouragement and growth through the game of soccer. During the spring season
we will be reaching out to engage you and ask for your help volunteering or donating. There is
never a bad time or too small of an amount to donate. We can all help our community by
serving and help remove the boundaries many families have affording youth soccer. Living
healthy and keeping kids surrounded by a positive environment is harder and harder every day
in America.

Our board, coaches and administrative staff – everyone here who works to serve you joins me
in thanking you for your generous partnership and continuing support. 

Thank you so much.

Dave Dir
Executive Director 
Orlando City Youth Soccer Club